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Can Vail use a regular NTFS drive without all the extender stuff? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a 8TB hardware RAID-5 NTFS formatted volume on my current file server.  If I install Vail on the server, will this volume continue to exist as a normal NTFS formatted volume, or will it be converted to this drive extender, 1GB chunk voodoo file system?  Since it's running hardware RAID-5, I don't care about all the funky drive extender stuff.
    Monday, August 16, 2010 7:28 PM

Answers

  • You can give Vail the entire array configured as a single volume, or you can split the array into multiple volumes. But no matter what you do, for Vail to use the drive in server storage, you will have to accept Drive Extender. Windows Home Server is designed primarily to be installed by OEMs and sold through retail channels as part of a hardware/software package to technically unskilled end users. As such, RAID is not a storage technology that Windows Home Server is designed to require or support. Instead it uses Drive Extender for storage management.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, August 16, 2010 8:24 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • If I install Vail on the server, will this volume continue to exist as a normal NTFS formatted volume,

    If you add it as backdrive or datadrive is it will be formatted by WHS first.
    If you don't add it /... ít has not use in Vail.

    Since it's running hardware RAID-5, I don't care about all the funky drive extender stuff.

    RAID is not supported in Vail

    I don't care about all the funky drive extender stuff.

    Simple suggestion is to not install Vail  at all.
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    "Digital Freak" wrote in message news:bfc97a2b-5334-4e79-b6a2-ec0b61ac4f80@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    I have a 8TB hardware RAID-5 NTFS formatted volume on my current file server. If I install Vail on the server, will this volume continue to exist as a normal NTFS formatted volume, or will it be converted to this drive extender, 1GB chunk voodoo file system? Since it's running hardware RAID-5, I don't care about all the funky drive extender stuff.


    Have a nice day!
    Monday, August 16, 2010 7:32 PM
  • Wow.  If that's true then it's an epic fail.  I can understand having the drive extender tech available for those who want to use it, but there's no reason for not allowing the use of regularly formatted NTFS volumes.
    Monday, August 16, 2010 7:35 PM
  • WHS is using drive extender. You don't like that? File a bug-wish report on connect and/or join the MS WHS team.


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    "Digital Freak" wrote in message news:d7f865bd-a8af-4870-8705-0985d71fb610@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Wow. If that's true then it's an epic fail. I can understand having the drive extender tech available for those who want to use it, but there's no reason for not allowing the use of regularly formatted NTFS volumes.


    Have a nice day!
    Monday, August 16, 2010 7:41 PM
  • What epic fail?


    A WHS v1 machine in the basement + Vail on an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+, 3 GB RAM, a mixed setup of harddrives in and outside the storage pool...
    Monday, August 16, 2010 7:42 PM
  • Wow.  If that's true then it's an epic fail.  I can understand having the drive extender tech available for those who want to use it, but there's no reason for not allowing the use of regularly formatted NTFS volumes.
    If you really don't want DE involved at all, you can connect the 8 TB drive to the server and not add it to the storage pool.  However, if you do that, Vail isn't aware of the drive at all (which really defeats the purpose of the OS).  You wouldn't be able to stream media from it, backup to it, etc.  Basically you would be using it like a regular OS.  (And, of course, any modifications to the server OS in that fashion would be unsupported since you would be logging into the server desktop to do everything yourself).
    Monday, August 16, 2010 7:44 PM
    Moderator
  • You can give Vail the entire array configured as a single volume, or you can split the array into multiple volumes. But no matter what you do, for Vail to use the drive in server storage, you will have to accept Drive Extender. Windows Home Server is designed primarily to be installed by OEMs and sold through retail channels as part of a hardware/software package to technically unskilled end users. As such, RAID is not a storage technology that Windows Home Server is designed to require or support. Instead it uses Drive Extender for storage management.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, August 16, 2010 8:24 PM
    Moderator
  • If this is the only volume that you want to add to Vail, then drive extender v2 can do no harm, as it would be the only (8TB) volume, so there's nothing to save the eventual file slices too. If oyu however add more drives later, you might get in trouble, especially when not using duplication.
    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:13 PM
  • Not sure that I would consider it true that the DE stuff will "do no harm".  It might not "harm" it, but it will burn down a bunch of space for no real reason... as even with duplication set to off, there is a pretty large overhead, so DE only seems to really make sense when duplication is set to on.

    If it were me, I would either keep it completely outside the "Vail Management" and just share it on your own, or use a more standard Windows or other OS when it comes to large arrays.  Seems like asking for trouble.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 5:13 PM
  • I ran into a similar issue (24TB total storage, RAID6).

    Simple solution was to just run Server 2008 R2 as my host OS, and carve out a separate 16TB LUN for home server. Created a hyper-V instance with two drives, one small 160GB boot drive (VHD) and a second drive, using direct access to the 16TB LUN.

    Used the reghack when I installed (which disables using boot drive as drive extender), so I then had ONLY the 16TB drive on drive extender. As its a "single drive" extender, I don't have to worry about the silly "pseudoRAID0" or "chunking".

    The only drawback is I lose about 1.5TB for ECC overhead on drive extender..when I already have RAID6, but its still better than "the approved alternative", which would have me losing 60% of my storage for drive extender, to get software raid 1 reliability.

    FYI, if you're doing RAID5 or 6, make sure you have a decent controller, with BBWC. And, make sure you're using enterprise grade, not consumer grade SATA drives (1-2 order of magnitude difference in MTBF).

     

     

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 9:04 PM
  • What throughput speeds have you seen with the HyperV layer in there?  I'm running my Vail over ESXi, and it's less than ideal... I haven't tried too hard to get direct disk access, but it's disabled by default in the free version.  It sounds like you can get it working simply by editing the configuration files for each guest, but haven't tried to see how much better it is if any.
    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 9:38 PM
  • I'm using direct access lun under Hyper-V, so performance is just great. On a large filecopy, I can hit around 112MB/s between client and server (Gbe network, jumbo frames, cisco catalyst switch). Thats about as close to theoretical as it gets.

    Hyper-V rocks quite nicely...and its free if you already have Windows Server. An alternative (which requires some skills) is Hyper-V server, which competes with ESXi. Command line only though...

    Saturday, October 23, 2010 3:02 PM
  • I ran into a similar issue (24TB total storage, RAID6).

    Simple solution was to just run Server 2008 R2 as my host OS, and carve out a separate 16TB LUN for home server. Created a hyper-V instance with two drives, one small 160GB boot drive (VHD) and a second drive, using direct access to the 16TB LUN.

    Used the reghack when I installed (which disables using boot drive as drive extender), so I then had ONLY the 16TB drive on drive extender. As its a "single drive" extender, I don't have to worry about the silly "pseudoRAID0" or "chunking".

    The only drawback is I lose about 1.5TB for ECC overhead on drive extender..when I already have RAID6, but its still better than "the approved alternative", which would have me losing 60% of my storage for drive extender, to get software raid 1 reliability.

    FYI, if you're doing RAID5 or 6, make sure you have a decent controller, with BBWC. And, make sure you're using enterprise grade, not consumer grade SATA drives (1-2 order of magnitude difference in MTBF).

     

     


    Hello Proteus7,

    Before having seen your pseudo, I recognize you here :http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en/whsvailbeta/thread/1106e99e-8c0d-4de2-8296-

    I'm building a headless server with a very special config :

    an intel SS4200EHW barebone server with LSISAS1078 Hardware RAID6 controller card (4 drives now, 5 drives later)

    As you have written "Used the reghack when I installed" and needing doing the same thing, I made a search with google and found a very usefull tip  :

    Remotely Enable Remote Desktop : http://oreilly.com/windows/archive/server-hacks-remote-desktop.html

    But I really need doing like you i din't find how to "Used the reghack when I installed (which disables using boot drive as drive extender), so I then had ONLY the 16TB drive on drive extender. As its a "single drive" extender , I don't have to worry about the silly "pseudoRAID0" or "chunking".

    Can you explain to the community, exactly how you have one this.

    When you tell "I lose about 1.5TB for ECC overhead on drive extender" have I to understand WHS wrote  1.5TB of RAM to 24TB array ? 

    Best regards

    Friday, November 12, 2010 11:33 AM
  • Jean-Claude, please do some reading in the forums, and some searches. All of your questions have answers readily available through a search, and all of them require more than a few words to explain.

    However, Proteus7 is incorrect in one thing: using a single drive doesn't prevent Drive Extender from allocating storage in 1 GB chunks. That will still happen. Using a single drive just guarantees that all chunks are on that one drive.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, November 12, 2010 1:39 PM
    Moderator